Charlie Blackmon, MaximBet Ink First-Of-Its-Kind Partnership

  • The deal is the first between an active player and sportsbook
  • Colorado, home of Blackmon’s Rockies, is one of 33 states with legal sports betting
  • Blackmon will appear in commercials, marketing campaigns, and in-person fan engagements
  • MLB commissioner Rob Manfred supports the expansion of gambling
Charlie Blackmon
Charlie Blackmon and MaximBet have agreed on a deal to make him the first active player sponsored by a betting operator. [Image: Ian D’Andrea/]

Betting meets baseball

Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon has inked a deal making him a partner with MaximBet. This deal is the first agreement between a gaming company and an active Major League Baseball player, opening the door to endless opportunities for the gambling space within baseball.

Blackmon cannot actively support betting but can promote the bookmaker

Blackmon, a four-time All-Star, will appear as a brand ambassador in commercials, marketing campaigns, and in-person fan engagements. MLB policy mandates that Blackmon cannot actively support betting but can promote the bookmaker.

The Dallas native lives in Colorado, one of 33 American states with legal sports gambling. The Centennial State signed gaming legislation in November 2019 and has expanded ever since.

Charlie Blackmon makes league history

Charlie Blackmon’s deal is groundbreaking in the sense that it intertwines current professional athletes with sports betting. Retired players, personalities, and stadiums had previously partnered with agents, but never an active member of a roster.

I knew this absolutely was the right brand for me”

“As I learned more about MaximBet, I knew this absolutely was the right brand for me,” Blackmon said in a release unveiling the new deal. “MaximBet has really attached itself to the local Colorado community, and I cannot wait to have some fun with MaximBet and surprising fans with incredible ‘money can’t buy’ experiences all season.”

MaximBet is an adjunct of Maxim, a men’s lifestyle brand; it has a short-lived tenure as an authorized gambling operator and is only operational in Colorado. The sportsbook plans to expand to Iowa and Indiana in the future.

The announcement came as a result of new stipulations in the MLB’s updated collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Marketing and promotion deals were limited under the previous CBA to teams and affiliates but not players or coaches.

Coors Field, the Rockies’ home stadium, is sponsored by WynnBet and often flashes its logo in the outfield and behind home plate. This partnership was cemented in 2021 and offered promotions like +500 odds for the Rockies moneyline in a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, a spin wheel that randomly distributed lower-level tickets, and experiential opportunities like granting fans the opportunity to throw out the first pitch.

As a MaximBet partner, Blackmon will help write the rulebook for future partnerships between operators and athletes.

An evolving league

Major League Baseball has welcomed the growth of sports betting with open arms. Most stadiums are already partnered with sportsbooks, and those that aren’t are banding with other prominent figures to push for legislation. 

The greatest example of this is St. Louis Cardinals president Bill DeWitt, who led a charge for Missouri sports teams that wanted to bring sports gambling within state lines.

League commissioner Rob Manfred also recently led a campaign for sports betting on ESPN’s SportsCenter

“We see it primarily as a form of increasing fan engagement,” Manfred said. “It’s an additional way for our fans to interact with the game.”

Sports betting is one of the fastest-growing sectors in American entertainment. Experts estimated that over $4bn would be wagered on the Super Bowl and March Madness in 2022 alone; with the rising popularity and expanding legal boundaries, these figures are only going to continue to grow.

Manfred also believes that MLB betting has more to offer than simple one-and-done pre-game bets, however. He is a fan of the immersive experience that mid-game betting can bring.

I do think in-game betting is going to be a significant component”

“I do think in-game betting is going to be a significant component,” Manfred said on SportsCenter. “I think if you talk to people who are experts in the field that they don’t see outcome betting as a major growth area. It is in fact in-game betting, so-called prop betting, that is going to be the growth area. And most of that betting is going to take place on mobile devices.”

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